How to Improve Your Splits

Splits is one of the most versatile skills that students can develop within their skillset as young dancers. It is valuable for dancers to have their splits because this skill can be translated into a variety of technical skills, such as leaps, jumps, floorwork, kicks, leg mounts, and so much more.

 

However, it also a skill that requires consistent practice to ensure flexibility is maintained. If you have been struggling to improve or maintain your splits we have a few tips that may help!

 

1.Warm up properly

Before you begin stretching at all, ensure that you start by getting your muscles warm. This can be achieved by jumping, skipping, running or any other sort of cardio exercise to get your blood pumping. Getting your muscles warm before commencing stretching will allow them to have more elasticity and can help to prevent injury by straining and overstretching. 

 

2. Pre-stretches

Like any skill, you can’t expect to go from not being able to do the splits into suddenly being flat to the ground! It is helpful to learn the skill in steps: 

  • Start with a lunge stretch to improve flexibility in the hip flexors 
  • Eventually work on straightening your front leg, while having your back leg still in the lunge shape
  • As you begin to feel more comfortable, slowly straighten your back knee so that both legs are straight

 

3. Check you have squared hips

A common mistake many dancers make is twisting their hips toward the side in an attempt to get lower to the ground. Try to avoid this by ensuring the shoulders are squared off, lifting tall through the spine, placing one hand on either side of the hips and ensuring the legs are parallel and not twisted.

 

4. Have safety in mind

Another great tip is to implement safe dance practice while working on your splits. Remember that it will take you even longer to get your splits if you injure yourself. Utilising this practice includes implementing some of the above tips, such as ensuring the body is warm, working your way up, and ensuring correct alignment of the body.

 

5. Breathe and be patient!

Don’t forget to be patient with yourself. Breathing and relaxing will help you ease into your splits more than forcing it will. Always listen to your body and gently work your way to success. Everyone’s body is different!

 

Don’t forget to tag us in your progression pictures – we love to see our students working hard at home. Tag us @dancefactor

Posted

22 Sep 2020

Categories

Advice and Tips